Having won the 2011 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève prize for Best Design Watch, the UR-110 is at the forefront of watchmaking excellence, continuing URWERK’s radical tradition of telling the time using orbiting satellite complications. Just 4 years later, an update of the UR-110, the EastWood has come into fruition. Urwerk reworks its famous UR-110 and adds a touch of bespoke tailoring to this previously stealthy space themed watch.
The updates: The bezels are now available in Indonesian Macassar ebony and South African Red Ivory wood. The strap it uses moves away from the traditional leather combination and uses a special tweed fabric, specifically chosen in collaboration with renown bespoke tailor Timothy Everest.
So the big question, no doubt this spaceship inspired, blockbuster watch retains its penchant to stand out in the crowd, but is this collaboration worthy of applause or disdain?
We believe Urwerk retains its magnificence with this piece owing largely to its technical prowess and design ingenuity. Critics may find that it is trying to be fashionable and is simply finding a cheaper alternative to product development. However, we beg to differ. What Urwerk has done here is to create a new concept, of incorporating tailoring into watches. If it were merely shoddy street fashion then it is despicable, but what we have here is a marriage of respectable tailoring tradition and creative futuristic watchmaking.
In the UR-110 “EastWood”, the time is always shown on the right side of the watch. Three hour satellites follow a vertically arced line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, in a downward motion. Planetary gearing keeps the satellites and their arrow-shaped “torpedoes” in parallel formation as they take turns to indicate the time as they pass the 60-minute track. A central carousel provides the complication with stability and accuracy. Planetary gearing assures the parallel rotation of the three hour satellites as they orbit the dial. The three counter-rotating hour modules – each comprising an hour satellite, minute hand and counter balance – are each mounted on a planetary gear. These three modules are in constant counter-rotation to counter the direction of rotation of the central carousel.
We applaud Urwerk for this new release and recognise that it is venturing into new artisan fields, that of tailoring and wood appreciation. That said, our first love still lies deep within the arms of its stealthy looking black watches. The space fantasy allusions with the oil change indicator, planetary orbitals, greenish lume still work best with a full black watch. Nonetheless, this is an interesting update of the UR-110.
Technical Specifications for the UR-110 “EastWood”
Case in Grade 5 titanium with bezel made of precious wood
5 pieces with fair trade, Indonesian Macassar ebony bezel
5 pieces with fair trade, South African Red Ivory wood bezel
Dimensions: 47mm x 51mm x 16mm
Two-position crown (winding, time-setting) with integrated protection
Strap: Tweed selected by tailor Timothy Everest
Satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears
Control Board: “Day/Night” indicator; “Oil Change” alerting service intervals and small seconds
Calibre: UR 9.01 mechanical, automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800v/h, 4Hz
Balance spring: Flat
Power: Single barrel
Power reserve: 39 hours
Winding system: Uni-directional rotor regulated by double turbines
Finishing: Matting, circular graining and diamond-cuts